Intel Core i7 870/Core i5 750/P55 Express chipset Review :: Features

09-07-2009 · Category: Hardware - Processors

By Elric Phares
  • Intel Virtualization Technology
  • Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology
  • Execute Disable Bit
  • Intel 64-bit architecture Intel Wide Dynamic Execution
  • Very deep out of order execution
  • Enhanced Branch prediction
  • Optimized for 32-bit applications running on advanced 32-bit operating systems
  • Intel Smart Cache
  • 32-BIT Data L1 Cache per core (128KB Data L1 Cache total)
  • 32KB Instruction L1 Cache per core (128KB Instruction L1 Cache total)
  • 256KB L2 cache per core (1MB L2 cache total0
  • 8MB L3 cache
  • Intel Advanced Digital Media Boost
  • Enhanced floating point and multimedia unit for enhanced video, audio, encryption and 3D performance
  • New accelerators for improved string and text processing options
  • Power Management Capabilities
  • System Management mode
  • Multiple Low-power states
  • 8-way cache association provides improved cache hit rate on load/store operations
  • System Memory Interface
  • Memory controller integrated in processor package
  • 2 Channels
  • 2 DIMMs/ channel supported (4 total)
  • 16GB maximum memory supported
  • Support unbuffered DIMMs only
  • Single Rank and Dual Rank DIMMs supported
  • DDR3 speeds of 800/1066/1333MHz supported
  • 512Mb, 1Gb, 2Gb Technologies/densities supported
  • 1156-Land package
Core i7 870
  • 4 Cores
  • Hyper-Threading
  • LGA-1156 interface
  • Core Speed 2.93GHz
  • Turbo Boost maximum 3.6GHz
  • 8MB Smart Cache
  • Integrated Memory Controller with 2 channels of DDR3-1333 MEMORY
  • PCI Express 2.0 discrete graphics flexibility for multiple graphics card configuration
  • 45nm process
  • Lynnfield family
Core i5 750
  • 4 cores
  • LGA-1156 interface
  • Core Speed 2.66GHz
  • Turbo Boost maximum speed 3.2GHz
  • 8MB Smart Cache
  • Integrated Memory Controller with 2 channels of DDR3-1333 memory
  • PCI Express 2.0 Discrete graphics flexibility for multiple graphics card configuration
  • 45nm process
  • Lynnfield family processor

The Lynnfield family is based upon the already released Nehalem architecture with some modifications for the LGA-1156 interface. First difference between a Nehalem and a Lynnfield processor is it uses the DMI (Direct Media Interface) to link to the P55 Express chipset instead of the QPI (Quick Path Interconnect) found on earlier Nehalem CPUs. The Quick Path Interconnect provides bandwidth up to 25.6GB/second to the chipset from the CPU. DMI provides up to 10GB/second bandwidth.


Intel Core i7 870/Core i5 750/P55 Express chipset Review Core i7 870+Core i5 750

Core i7 870+Core i5 750

Intel Core i7 870/Core i5 750/P55 Express chipset Review Rear of two CPUs

Rear of two CPUs

Intel Core i7 870/Core i5 750/P55 Express chipset Review Q3AN

Q3AN

Intel Core i7 870/Core i5 750/P55 Express chipset Review Q3AJ

Q3AJ


Intel added 16 PCI Express Generation 2 lanes to the CPU die, allowing for up to 8GB/second of bandwidth to be provided to the graphics slots in the form of x16 or x8 x8 configuration. Intel P55 motherboards will support SLI or Crossfire (assuming the board manufacturer has paid the license fee to NVIDIA for SLI) just like the X58 chipset can. As the memory controller is also on the CPU die, with the advent of the Lynnfield CPU family there is no longer any need for a Northbridge.

Earlier platforms required a CPU, a Memory Controller Hub (Northbridge) and a Southbridge. On the P55 Express platform all of the functionality of the Northbridge is taken over by the CPU and the Southbridge has been replaced by the Platform Controller Hub (P55 Express). This reduces costs to the manufacturer and we will see boards retail for $100~ online on this chipset at launch for the least expensive version up to $349 for the higher priced versions.

Previous Intel CPUs had something called Turbo Mode. Turbo Mode overclocked the Intel CPU by 133MHz or 266MHz depending on the temperatures, the load the system is under and voltages. While this system worked, Turbo mode only offered a 5%-10% increase in performance versus the standard clock. With the Lynnfield family, Intel introduces a new mode, Turbo Boost. Turbo Boost increases the clock speed of the CPU

The Core i7 870 CPU is roughly equivalent in pricing and clock speed to the Core i7 940. The clock speed of this new CPU will be 2.93GHz with a maximum Turbo Boost speed of 3.6GHz. There will be two 8 series CPUs on the Lynnfield family this quarter, the 870 and the 860 which has a clock speed of 2.8GHz. Each of these CPUs has four processor cores. The 8 series CPUs has HyperThreading meaning that the processor can work on two threads simultaneously. Windows reports it as 8 active cores.

The Core i5 750 CPU is one of the new i5 series CPUs. The main difference between the Core i5 750 and the Core i7 870 is the lack of HyperThreading on the 750. There are four processor cores, but each core can operate on a single thread at a time instead of the two on the 870. The clock speed of the 750 is 2.66GHz, or equivalent to the Core i7 920 in clock speed. The maximum Turbo Boost clock speed on the 750 is 3.2GHz, or roughly equivalent in clock speed to the QX9770 in Turbo Boost mode. The lack of HyperThreading will be apparent in the multitasking environment and in circumstances where the program relies heavily on the CPUs multi-core technology.


Intel Core i7 870/Core i5 750/P55 Express chipset Review